$44 million to expand Australia’s future health and medical research capability

The Morrison Government is investing in the future competitiveness of Australian health and medical research with more than $44 million for postgraduate scholarships, international collaboration and research infrastructure and equipment through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Investment in health and medical research capability through postgraduate scholarships and international partnerships is critical to both create and maintain Australia’s competitive sector.

This funding is part of the $1 billion available for NHMRC’s 2021 grant round, the highest yet through the Medical Research Endowment Account.

The postgraduate scholarships will create opportunities for many graduates in medicine and health sciences to pursue their ideas and tackle the health challenges facing our community.

Today’s investment also includes funding to support international collaboration by established researchers.

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said sharing scientific knowledge enables Australian researchers to develop best practices and build international research networks that will accelerate discoveries and their translation into better health outcomes.

“NHMRC’s international partnerships bring researchers together to promote global health objectives and strengthen Australian participation in international research efforts,” Minister Hunt said.

“This announcement is also an investment in the next generation of Australian medical research leaders, with the careers of many of Australia’s foremost health and medical researchers kick-started by an NHMRC postgraduate scholarship.”

Funding announced today comprises:

  • $25.7 million to contribute to infrastructure costs of research for 21 independent medical research institutes through the Independent Research Institutes Infrastructure Support Scheme (IRIISS).
  • More than $7.24 million to support the early research careers of 65 outstanding health and medical graduates through NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarships.
  • More than $2.8 million to support collaboration with our regional neighbours, sharing vital resources and ideas to combat complex regional health challenges through NHMRC’s participation in the e-ASIA Joint Research Program.
  • More than $2.5 million to support collaborative research with partners through the 2021 NHMRC – European Union Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND) Grants and NHMRC – National Institute for Research Health (UK) Collaborative Research Grants.
  • $5.7 million for 45 grants for the procurement of equipment to support the highest quality health and medical research.

“A strong health and medical research system relies on scientists, clinicians and others working together to share knowledge and accelerate discoveries and their translation into better health outcomes,” NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso AO said.

“This collaboration begins with postgraduate research students learning from their mentors, sharing skills and ideas, and continues with international partnerships when researchers around the world come together to solve shared health challenges.”

NHMRC Postgraduate scholarships

Name Grant Title Admin Institution Total
Dr Luke McLean Understanding response and resistance to immunotherapy in immunocompromised patients with cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas University of Melbourne $135,002
Dr Yew Li Dang Using twin studies to investigate epilepsy aetiology and antiepileptic drug-induced birth defects University of Melbourne $135,002
Dr Lucy McGrath-Cadell Understanding the genetics and mechanisms of spontaneous coronary artery dissection University of New South Wales $97,640
Dr Ralley Prentice The Pregnancy in Crohn’s and Colitis – Observations, Levels and Outcomes Extension (PICCOLO – X) study Monash University $101,377
Dr Julia Lai-Kwon Harnessing the power of Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs): demonstrating novel applications of PROs in the care of oncology patients University of Melbourne $135,002
Dr Michael Zhu Long-term Outcomes of Surgery for Diseases of the Aortic Valve in Children Murdoch Childrens Research Institute $116,321
Dr Jayson Jeganathan Negative Symptoms of Psychosis University of Newcastle $93,904
Dr Ouli Xie Evolution of Streptococcal pathovars University of Melbourne $123,794
Dr Adrian Lee Towards the understanding of the immunopathogenesis of autoantibody-mediated systemic diseases: new approaches to old problems Garvan Institute of Medical Research $135,002
Dr Jessica Fairley Meeting an unmet need in systemic sclerosis: defining the burden of arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death University of Melbourne $135,002
Dr Michael Lim Randomised Evaluation of the Impact of Catheter Ablation versus Medical Therapy on Psychological Distress and Neurocognitive Function in Atrial Fibrillation Melbourne Health $135,002
Ms Tara Guckel Advancing the prevention and early intervention for co-occurring anxiety and alcohol use disorders University of Sydney $93,056
Dr Adithya Balasubramanian Targeting immune resistance mechanisms to enhance anti-tumour immunity in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research $97,640
Dr Larissa Trease Risk factors for and burden of low back pain in elite athletes. La Trobe University $135,002
Dr Lachlan Batty Young people with old knees: The role of matrix metalloproteinase 3 and type 2 collagen C-telopeptide fragments in predicting post traumatic osteoarthritis after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction La Trobe University $101,377
Dr Yi Chao Foong Validation and implementation of smartphone-based digital biomarkers in multiple sclerosis to define subclinical progression and treatment failure: the ACTIVE MS study Monash University $135,002
Miss Sophia Garlick Bock Comorbid Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Use Among Sexuality and Gender Diverse Young People in Australia University of Sydney $93,056
Dr Sonali Shah Hypertension with low renin – new insights into prevalence, pathophysiology and management Monash University $135,002
Ms Desiree LaGrappe Maternal and Child Health Nursing: A golden opportunity to integrate screening for reproductive coercion and increase effective contraception use? La Trobe University $101,542
Ms Olivia Price Preventing infectious disease and reducing associated harms among people who inject drugs University of New South Wales $93,056
Ms Isabelle Meulenbroeks The impact of COVID-19 and associated health policies on access to allied healthcare, care quality, and health outcomes in Australian residential aged care facilities Macquarie University $101,542
Ms Katie Lee Genomic architecture of skin in the vicinity of previous melanoma in photodamaged and non-photodamaged areas University of Queensland $77,630
Dr Gemma Reynolds High-risk lymphoproliferative malignancies in the era of novel therapies: Infection risk, surveillance and prophylaxis University of Melbourne $135,002
Dr Elizabeth Armari Developing and evaluating an evidence-based training program for improving labour and childbirth care in India. Burnet Institute $101,377
Shania Liu Responsible pre-operative Opioid use for Hip and knee ArthropLasTy (OpioidHALT) study University of Sydney $81,985
Dr Anthony Hew Revolutionising System Reform in Mental Health: Addressing Gaps in the System through Big Data and Data Linkage Monash University $116,321
Dr Noa Amir Identifying and addressing the needs and priorities of patients with  genetic kidney disease and their families University of Sydney $97,640
Dr Aaron Kee Yee Wong Personalising Pain Relief for People With Cancer: The Right Opioid For the Right Person at the Right Time University of Melbourne $93,904
Dr Laura Eades Biomarker profiles in Indigenous Australians with systemic lupus erythematosus Monash University $135,002
Dr Edmund Chung Treatments to expand regulatory T cells and/or deplete autoantibody production in primary membranous nephropathy University of Sydney $97,640
Dr Hiu Tat Chan Towards vaginal microbiota stability: new treatment paradigm for bacterial vaginosis La Trobe University $97,640
Mr Dominic Delport Using mathematical models to generate evidence to support Australia’s COVID-19 responses and prepare for future pandemics Burnet Institute $93,056
Mr Karan Shah Economic evaluation of strategies to increase kidney donation and transplantation University of Sydney $80,201
Dr Yasmin Hughes Improving Syphilis diagnosis and management in the community Monash University $135,002
Dr Madeleine  Gill Understanding Cirrhotic Cardiomyopathy Centenary Institute $123,794
Dr Garry Hamilton Radial artery conduits in coronary artery bypass surgery: the impact of prior instrumentation with a focus on the vascular biology and clinical outcomes. University of Melbourne $135,002
Dr Prianka Puri An integration of multi-omics and machine learning to stratify patients with lupus nephritis for precision medicine University of Queensland $131,266
Dr Sean Tan Cardiovascular Screening in Cancer Patients Treated with Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors Monash University $135,002
Dr Alexandra Stewart The role of cytochrome polymorphisms in primaquine metabolism and effects on its activity in radical cure of Plasmodium vivax infection University of Melbourne $135,002
Dr Tanya Ross Informing future recommendations for prevention and treatment of ovarian cancer using population data University of Queensland $90,168
Mr Samuel Tu Cardiometabolic, Genetic and Lifestyle Risk Factors for Arrhythmias University of Adelaide $77,630
Ms Isobel Todd Perinatal and early childhood risk and protective factors for paediatric infection Murdoch Childrens Research Institute $93,056
Ms Melissa  Savaglio Developing a community-based psychosocial intervention for  young people with mental illness Monash University $67,346
Mrs Lorelle Holland Decolonising approaches for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children with complex health needs exposed to the youth justice system in Australia: Reducing incarceration and recidivism rates University of Queensland $115,801
Ms Amelia Hyatt Determining health system and public policy elements for successful implementation and sustainability of cervical cancer elimination strategies at a country and regional level University of Melbourne $93,056
Dr Deonna Ackermann Optimising trial processes and generating translational gains: Studies Within A Trial (SWATs) for the MELSELF randomised controlled trial of patient-led melanoma surveillance. University of Sydney $62,204
Mr Alexander Terrill Application of advanced manufacturing technologies to offload diabetes-related foot ulceration Queensland University of Technology $85,245
Stephanie Bond Development and evaluation of strategies to improve syphilis screening of pregnant women to prevent congenital syphilis Monash University $135,002
Ms Erin Madden Improving evidence-based practice for comorbid alcohol and other drug and mental health conditions: the role of implementation science and quality improvement toolkits University of Sydney $93,056
Anna Le Fevre Investigating epigenetic regulators of disease and novel epigenetic treatment approaches for imprinting disorders Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research $135,002
Dr Bernadette Ricciardo Koolungar Urban Moorditj Healthy Skin: Determining the burden of skin disease in urban Aboriginal children and adolescents. University of Western Australia $123,794
Dr Victoria Hall Defining host immune response and prevention strategies for viral respiratory tract infections in patients with haematological malignancy University of Melbourne $135,002
Dr Thomas Lew Enhancing venetoclax and other pro-apoptotic agents to improve outcomes for patients with haematological malignancies Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research $135,002
Dr Yin Yuan Dissecting the challenge of AML Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research $135,002
Ashwin Bhaskaran Ventricular arrhythmia mechanisms and therapies University of Sydney $135,002
Dr Sarah Holper Untangling Neuroinflammation’s Role in Alzheimer’s Disease Development (UNRAVEL) Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research $135,002
Dr Yara-Natalie Abo A randomised controlled human challenge trial to evaluate Strep A vaccine efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity Murdoch Childrens Research Institute $135,002
Ms Chandana Guha Improving care and outcomes for vulnerable patients with chronic kidney disease – the young and the elderly University of Sydney $67,346
Dr Kasun De Silva Novel technologies and strategies to identify arrhythmogenic substrate and triggers for sudden cardiac death University of Sydney $90,168
Alice Powell Exceptional cognition in old age and interactions with other aspects of successful ageing University of New South Wales $123,794
Miss Nicola Creagh Evaluating the use of an open access self-collection cervical screening pathway: The solution to declining participation and to long standing inequities? University of Melbourne $93,056
Dr Huong Nguyen A Cognitive Ageing Risk Evaluation (CARE) Tool to Support Clinical Diagnosis of Dementia for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples University of Melbourne $105,113
Dr Oliver Cronin The Science of Cold Snare Polypectomy University of Sydney $101,377
Ms Thi Tran How does methamphetamine use, mental health and treatment interventions affect one another? University of New South Wales $117,839
Dr Robert Little Modulation of the gut microbiome and mucosal immune response in IBD Monash University $135,002

NHMRC e-ASIA 2021 Joint Research Program

Name Grant Title Admin Institution Total
Dr Pengfei Cai Innovative point-of-care diagnostics and environmental surveillance tools for the elimination of Asian schistosomiasis QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute $749,987
Assoc Prof Jason Ong Ending HIV transmission by Optimizing Pre-exposure prophylaxis in East Asia (HOPE) Monash University $667,191
Prof Freya Fowkes Vector sero-surveillance tools to accelerate malaria elimination Burnet Institute $745,125
Assoc Prof Tao Liu Targeting MYCN/NCYM for cancer therapy University of New South Wales $699,317

2021 NHMRC-European Union Joint Programme on Neurodegenerative Disease Research – JPND

CIA Name Grant Title Admin Institution Total
Prof Simon Lewis COgNiTive propagation in pRodrOmaL Parkinson’s disease: CONTROL-PD University of Sydney $462,501
Prof Sarah Spencer Effects of early-Stress On Lipid mediators and Inflammation for early Detection of neurodegeneration (SOLID) RMIT University $499,605
Dr Allan McRae Leveraging medical records to identify patients at risk of neurodegenerative disease University of Queensland $482,706

2020 NHMRC-NIHR Collaborative Research Grant Scheme Round 3

CIA Name Grant Title Admin Institution Total
Prof Viviana Wuthrich A randomised CONtrolled trial of Tailored Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for older people with treatment resistant Generalised Anxiety Disorder (CONTACT-GAD) Macquarie University $358,767
Dr Calum Roberts The neoGASTRIC trial: Avoiding routine gastric residual volume measurement in neonatal critical care, a multi-centre, randomised controlled trial Monash University $739,020

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